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Mild weather pattern to continue through most of January

Winter barrelled into Mid-Missouri earlier than normal this year, with plenty of snow and bitter cold in November. Since then, temperatures have been quite mild leading to a fairly snow-less December. It’s this mild weather that kept 2018 in the top 20 warmest years on record.

While 2018 wasn’t a historic year for weather in Mid-Missouri, there were a few occurrences that stood out.

According to the National Weather Service out of St. Louis, there were a few highlights from the year 2018:

– 10th least snowiest year on record

– 8th warmest summer

– 11th driest spring

– Warmest May on record

– 2 daily record high temperatures set

– 3 daily record low temperatures set

– 3 daily record snowfall values set

While many of those records were set earlier in the year, the record snow occurred during the month of November, when winter arrived early in Mid-Missouri.

Conditions are fairly mild right now and weather patterns are pointing to this remaining the case through most of January.

A big contributor to our winter so far this year has been a developing El Niño in the equatorial Pacific. This weather pattern typically brings much drier and warmer conditions to a large portion of North America, with the occasional cold spell.

It’s certainly has been the case so far this season, with much of December remaining on the mild side. Currently, there is a 90% chance that an El Niño will develop in the Pacific, which means signs are pointing to another snow-less month across the region, as the El Niño continues to strengthen.

However, as the Arctic continues to see warming and cold air remains bottled up in Canada, it won’t take much for the cold dam to break and spill into the U.S.

So don’t count out winter just yet.

Last month we told you about the cold snap that was going to follow us into the new year, which we are currently seeing across Mid-Missouri. Current trends are showing another cold snap arriving late January that could linger into February.

For now, the mild weather is here to stay as the current outlook from the CPC continues to show a decent shot of above-average temperatures for a large portion of the nation.

Stay with ABC 17 News as we continue to monitor the strengthening El Niño and what it means for the rest of our winter.

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